Rabies – Colombia

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June 30, 2021 – A young man had contracted rabies from an infected animal. He was reported dead a few hours after he was sent to a hospital to seek medical care. This is the second reported case of a human contracting rabies in Colombia since September 2020. The individual was a 26-year-old woman in Neiva. She died after being bitten by her cat who was infected with rabies.

The two cases have prompted the attention of 37 municipalities through a red-alert and anti-rabies vaccination efforts among home-bound cats and dogs. Surveillance, prevention, and control efforts have been implemented in Colombia and the Americas to eliminate the transmission of the rabies virus from infected bats, foxes, cats, and dogs to humans. 47,763 domestic animals have been vaccinated as of 2021.

According to the source, risk of rabies contraction is likely among individuals who have occupations or travel to areas where the disease is prevalent.

Photo: Cat and dog playing.

Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain in humans and other mammals. Early symptoms can include fever and tingling at the site of exposure. These symptoms are followed by one or more of the following symptoms: violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, fear of water, an inability to move parts of the body, confusion, and ultimately loss of consciousness. Once symptoms appear, the result is nearly always death.

The time period between contracting the disease and the start of symptoms is usually one to three months, but can vary from less than one week to more than one year.

Rabies is present in more than 150 countries and on all continents but Antarctica. It is very important to have your pets vaccinated and avoid contact with wild animals.

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